World War I: War Memorials

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 6th December 2018.

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Photo of Chris Ruane Chris Ruane Shadow Minister (Wales)

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of a dedicated UK-based memorial to mark the Mesopotamian campaign of the First World War.

Photo of Michael Ellis Michael Ellis The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

It is important to remember that the fighting and loss of life continued in Mesopotamia beyond the Armistice of 1918. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s Basra Memorial in Iraq commemorates the more than 40,500 members of Commonwealth forces who died during the Campaign and whose graves are not known. While the current instability in the region makes the work of the Commission challenging, the Government’s centenary programme did not include the development of new memorials. Traditionally, new memorials are funded by public subscription and the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire provides a highly fitting and appropriate location for new memorials of many kinds.

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